Baby position is considered unstable until approximately 35-36 weeks gestation. It is normal for the baby to present breech during the second and third trimester and spontaneously invert into a comfortable head down position in preparation for birth. Some babies may be head down very early on and others may wait until days or minutes before labor and birth to go head down. All pregnancies are as unique as the baby that is developing. It is believed that breech presentation is found in 3-5% of all singleton pregnancies.
For those babies that are not yet ready to invert, chiropractic techniques may help. Adjustments and treatment to help with breech presentation does not involve manual manipulation of the baby. The Webster technique is used to improve pelvic alignment and increase space in the pelvis to allow the baby to turn naturally. There is no use of drugs or surgery for this technique. Many factors influence the likelihood of a baby inverting naturally. Factors such as fluid level, placenta location, cord length and shape of the mother’s uterus may be limiting factors. A thorough chiropractic evaluation can address these issues and determine if a conservative approach is the best route. It is recommended that all women seeking chiropractic care for breech presentation or any malposition also consult and begin treatment with an acupuncturist. Women that are co-treated with chiropractic and acupuncture have the best success rates for naturally head down babies. In some cases External Cephalic Version performed by your OB/GYN may be a choice. The success rate of ECV is around 50%. Women that have been under the care of a chiropractor before this procedure have better outcomes than those that do not have proper pelvic alignment.
Asynclitic, transverse and occiput posterior positions can also be improved with chiropractic care. As complex as these may sound, if proper pelvic alignment is achieved and there are no other limiting factors present chiropractic care can also help to improve these baby positions. All baby positions that are not vertex have a higher rate of intervention.
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